Travel Fanboy

Episode #59 – Live, Uncut, Unscripted Trip Report

I have to warn you, this episode was recorded live on YouTube without a script and is completely unedited. I rarely edit much of my show, but I have never done it with virtually no script or notes. So, listen at your own risk. Big thanks to those of you who joined me live and gave some very great, albeit far too generous, feedback.

Some general notes from my Trip:


  • Got to hang out with Chris from Faces and Aces and Scott from Vital Vegas– both great guys passionate about Las Vegas. Check them out!
  • Stayed at the Downtown Grand for the first time. I think they offer the nicest basic room downtown. A full review will be up soon.
  • Gambled and lost and Golden Gate, but had a great time nonetheless.




  • Went to check out the Plaza pool. A simple, but good space for hotel guests.
  • Headed to Vdara. Love the property. Nice rooms, quiet resort, but close to gambling at Aria, Bellagio, and Cosmo.
  • Dinner at Stripsteak was great.
  • Gambling at Luxor was a success.



  • Breakfast at the Perch. If you haven’t been to Container Park yet, you should visit at least once. Some cool spots there.
  • Gambled at El Cortez in the early afternoon. $5 tables everywhere, even Baccarat! If you can get used to the smell, El Co can be a fun place with the right group.
  • Introduced the group to Sigma Derby at the D. It’s a downtown right of passage at this point for me.
  • Played some BJ at Golden Gate again. Have I said how much I enjoy it there before?
  • Dinner at Gordon Ramsay Pub. It’s rarely packed, so it typically becomes a viable backup plan if other places are busy.
  • Had cigars at Montecristo in Caesars. Great place, even for cigar newbies. Fantastic atmosphere and service. I can’t recommend it enough.
  • Had drinks at Mandarin Bar. Really cool view of the Strip and even bumped into a couple #VIMFP favorites, Big Hoss and Mike E.
  • Played some craps at Cromwell. Lost, a running theme for me, but the Cromwell service never disappoints. Definitely, my favorite place to roll the dice in Vegas at the moment.



  • Cabana day at the Cosmo. We had two in order to accommodate all 16 of us. $300 a piece, a pretty good price for a prime pool.
  • Had dinner at Five50 at Aria. Surprisingly good food. Meatballs were delicious and the pizza wasn’t bad either. You can order pizza by the slice which is a good way to try different varietals.
  • More craps at Luxor. This place is growing on people, at least the craps pit. Decent dealers and good service from the entire crew. Didn’t win much, but my two sessions garnered me a comped room offer- not bad for a low roller.
  • Drinks at Skyfall followed. This may be my favorite view of any lounge in Vegas. No picture does it justice. The $20 drinks are easier to swallow with the amazing scenery.

And that was pretty much the trip. I’ll have reviews of rooms and restaurants to follow in the coming weeks in detail. Feel free to shoot me any questions in the meantime. Here are a few Tweets from the trip to accompany the report:


Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.


  • “Is it live or is it Memorex?”… Great job live. I really can’t tell the difference. You’re a natural at this stuff. Love the trip report. Lots of info. Thanks!

  • Great meeting you at Mandarin Bar. You’re exactly right, it was very “typical Vegas.” We were with some friends from Colorado and had sort of explained the Vegas Internet Mafia to them after we hooked up with Mike_E earlier that day. I’m not sure they really understood what we meant about our little network of Vegas geekdom. Anyway, when you came up and introduced yourself, one of them asked my wife, “So you mean Big Hoss is really a ‘Vegas thing?'” My wife rolled her eyes and said, “I guess you could call it that.” ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to #vimfp

    • Haha. My wife’s eyes are perpetually rolled while in Vegas, so I can connect. I’ve found that putting ourselves out there on Twitter and the various Vegas sites can really enhance our trips. The likelihood of bouncing into an internet acquaintance and sharing a drink or a roll of the dice makes it that much more fun. Great meeting you too. See you in a couple months!

  • I love the trip report and loved the accompanying podcast. Or it is the other way around? You have me very excited for my next trip. Headed out there in a couple weeks and will be checking out the Cromwell and Luxor(!) for low limit gaming. How does GR Pub compare to TE P.U.B.? I usually hit TE.

    One thing you said that sticks in my mind as well, as much as MGM corp seems to be ‘corporate’ towards folks like you and I, I really like their room quality. CE just gives me better prices. I’m very conflicted. Sigh.

    • They’re somewhat similar, though I find TE a more comfortable space and having a better drink menu. I typically end up at GR Pub if other options don’t work out, so it’s serviceable for that reason.

      I completely agree about the MGM quandary. I think every MGM property essentially “beats” it’s CE counterpart in terms of room quality. I may be giving MGM a break for a while, as I’ve stayed with the almost exclusively on the Strip for the last two years. My wife is in charge of our final VIMFP night hotel choice. I have a feeling I’ll end up at Cromwell.